Sunday, June 21, 2015

Grain of Life

All who call upon the name of the Lord look with horror at the events at Mother Emanuel Church. We search in vain for some explanation of what could have caused this young man to go so far against the grain of life. In our worst moments, we might even come to doubt that there is a grain to life, and that our Father is maintaining it.


Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, Grain of Life by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's Not What You Thought

First, a mea culpa. We had a technical failure this morning that had nothing to do with the pastor being too daft to push the "Record" button, so we have only text this week. My apologies. Now...on to more important matters.

If you mention the phrase "The Kingdom of God" to a group of people, I'm confident that the mental images appearing in each person's mind will be as divergent as are the people imagining them. Jesus teaches that the Kingdom is like a mustard seed which grows we know not how. Humility is a good place to begin in any worship experience. Maybe we could remind ourselves that our image of the Kingdom isn't the definitive one.

Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, It's Not What You Thought by clicking HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Regular Way



First, an apology. This has been a trying week, with two deaths in our family. I don't know if I had a frog in my throat or if the grieving process had affected me in some way, but as I prepared today's sermon for upload, I couldn't miss the fact that I sound angry. I'm not angry, and I beg your forbearance. I don't know where that came from.

That said, here's something to think about. We all carry around an idea of right and wrong which we honor in a phrase an old friend of mine often used, "The Regular Way". Anything he perceived as unusual was not the regular way. As an example, I'm fairly sure he would not view Bruce Jenner's transformation into Caitlyn Jenner to be "the regular way". 


The problem of the regular way is that it leads us away from the teachings of the church as often as not. We tend to honor God but worship the regular way -- the way we understand the way of righteousness to be. Dietrich Bonhoeffer declared that the primal sin of humanity consists in putting the knowledge of good and evil before the knowledge of God. We yearn for the regular way, the way of our own righteousness, as a child yearns for mother’s milk. Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, The Regular Way, by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Uziah, Isaiah

This is the Sunday, I think, in which I make some people mad, so I hope you'll be along for the ride. The church teaches that each person has been called by God from before all time for a task or tasks. The tasks or tasks cannot be accomplished without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is granted precisely to permit each Christian to accomplish his or her task. What is your task, and how do you approach the relationship between God and you in the Time After Pentecost?


Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, Uziah, Isaiah by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Sky Is Not Falling

A recent report from the Pew Research Center has lead many Christians to fear that the end is in sight for Christianity. There is no better time than Pentecost to discuss this issue.

Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, The Sky Is Not Falling by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

God's Gardeners

This week, we killed Abu Sayyaf, a key ISIS figure. We have stepped into the same snare we have been stepping into since time out of mind.
The snare I’m speaking of is the dualistic view of God’s creation, so attractive to our sinful selves, in which we mentally divide the population of the world into “the good guys”, always identified with “us” and “the bad guys”, or “not us” then decide that it is the Divinely Ordained Task of the good guys to exterminate the bad guys. This view is so pervasive and so endlessly reflected and re-reflected in our consciousness that escaping from it is like trying to find your way out of a house of mirrors. 
Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, God's Gardeners, by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Who's On First?

It is well worth our time to think about how we conceive of the relationship between ourselves and God. Does God react to us, or do we react to God? In other words, Who's On First? My guess is that the most prevalent understanding is that God reacts to us, spreading His blessings on those who live fruitful, obedient lives, and scourging those who don't eternally. That's a pretty common understanding, but I'd like to offer an alternative: I'd like to suggest that God sends his rain upon the fields of the just and the unjust alike, and it is up to us to react to God's love. Jesus taught:

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”

If we abide in His love, why are there always seats for the family of the victim at executions? Why do we draw satisfaction from the suffering of others?

Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, Who's On First? by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.